govern
verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French governer, from Latin gubernare to steer, govern, from Greek kybernan Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; especially to control and direct the making and administration of policy in b. to rule without sovereign power and usually without having the authority to determine basic policy 2. a. archaic manipulate b. to control the speed of (as a machine) especially by automatic means 3. a. to control, direct, or strongly influence the actions and conduct of b. to exert a determining or guiding influence in or over <
income must govern expenditure
>
c. to hold in check ; restrain 4. to require (a word) to be in a certain case 5. to serve as a precedent or deciding principle for <
customs that govern human decisions
>
intransitive verb 1. to prevail or have decisive influence ; control 2. to exercise authority • governable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • govern — gov·ern / gə vərn/ vt 1: to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; esp: to control and direct the administration of policy in 2: to exert a determining or guiding influence in or over the testator s assets are govern ed by will substitutes …   Law dictionary

  • govern — govern, rule are comparable when they mean to exercise power or authority in controlling or directing another or others, often specifically those persons who comprise a state or nation. Govern may imply power, whether despotic or constitutional,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Govern — Gov ern, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Governed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Governing}.] [OF. governer, F. gouverner, fr. L. gubernare to steer, pilot, govern, Gr. kyberna^n. Cf. {Gubernatorial}.] 1. To direct and control, as the actions or conduct of men, either… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • govern — gov‧ern [ˈgʌvən ǁ ərn] verb 1. [intransitive, transitive] to officially and legally run a country and make decisions about taxes, laws, public services etc: • the politicians who govern the country • A small military elite has been governing for… …   Financial and business terms

  • govern — [guv′ərn] vt. [ME governen < OFr gouverner < L gubernare, to pilot (a ship), direct, guide < Gr kybernan, to steer, govern, prob. of non IE orig.] 1. to exercise authority over; rule, administer, direct, control, manage, etc. 2. to… …   English World dictionary

  • govern — late 13c., from O.Fr. governer (11c., Mod.Fr. gouverner) govern, from L. gubernare to direct, rule, guide, govern (Cf. Sp. gobernar, It. governare), originally to steer, a nautical borrowing from Gk. kybernan to steer or pilot a ship, direct (the …   Etymology dictionary

  • govern — [v1] take control; rule administer, assume command, be in power, be in the driver’s seat*, call the shots*, call the signals*, captain*, carry out, command, conduct, control, dictate, direct, execute, exercise authority, guide, head, head up,… …   New thesaurus

  • Govern — Gov ern, v. i. To exercise authority; to administer the laws; to have the control. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • govern — ► VERB 1) conduct the policy and affairs of (a state, organization, or people). 2) control or influence. 3) constitute a rule, standard, or principle for. 4) Grammar (of a word) require that (another word or group of words) be in a particular… …   English terms dictionary

  • govern — verb ADVERB ▪ effectively, well ▪ directly ▪ The colony was governed directly from Paris. VERB + GOVERN ▪ be fit to, be unfit …   Collocations dictionary

  • govern */*/ — UK [ˈɡʌvə(r)n] / US [ˈɡʌvərn] verb Word forms govern : present tense I/you/we/they govern he/she/it governs present participle governing past tense governed past participle governed 1) [intransitive/transitive] to control and manage an area, city …   English dictionary

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